June 16, 2024

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Robert Fico: Slovak Prime Minister blames opposition 'hatred' for shooting

Robert Fico: Slovak Prime Minister blames opposition ‘hatred’ for shooting

Comment on the photo, Robert Fico made his first statement since the assassination attempt in a Facebook video

  • author, Rob Cameron
  • Role, Prague

Three weeks after Robert Fico was shot dead in central Slovakia, he made a forceful return to political life – on the eve of the European elections.

In a Facebook video apparently recorded at his home in Bratislava, the Slovak prime minister blamed the attack on Slovakia’s liberal opposition, “anti-government media” and foreign-funded NGOs for creating a climate of hatred and intolerance that led to the shooting. . maybe.

Mr. Fico, who was seriously wounded on May 15 after being shot several times in the abdomen, said he had forgiven his attacker — identified by prosecutors as 71-year-old Juraj C — and bore no hatred toward him.

But he said his attacker was a “Slovak opposition activist.”

Fico said the man, who faces a long prison sentence for attempted murder, was a “messenger of evil and political hatred” stirred up by the “unsuccessful and demoralizing” opposition in Slovakia.

Opposition parties – especially the Progressive Liberal Party of Slovakia, which is close to Fico’s left-wing populist Smer party ahead of the European Parliament elections – have condemned the shooting and categorically rejected all links with the attacker.

Fico, who has served as prime minister for more than 10 of the past 18 years, returned to power last October at the head of a nationalist populist coalition.

Comment on the photo, The suspect in Mr Fico’s shooting was arrested after the incident in the town of Handlova on May 15.

In a video apparently recorded in the corridor of a police station hours after the attack in the central town of Handlova, the suspect – described as a poet and author – said his motive was to oppose Fico’s policies, including the abolition of public institutions. Broadcaster RTVS.

Footage also emerged showing him at several anti-government demonstrations.

However, old videos showed the man addressing a meeting of a far-right Slovak paramilitary organisation, so there is ongoing confusion about his political beliefs.

Mr. Fico, who looked well and wore a white and blue plaid shirt, said that if all goes well, he will be able to return to work at the end of June.

He appealed to the “anti-government media” – especially those outlets that he said were owned by companies linked to American philanthropist George Soros as well as foreign-funded and opposition NGOs – not to downplay the reasons for the assassination attempt.

He said he had warned months ago that the possibility of an attack on a government official was “close to certainty.”

He said that the attack occurred in an atmosphere in which the opposition was exploiting the fact that the collective West was trying to impose “one acceptable foreign policy,” especially with regard to Ukraine, and was dealing harshly with small countries that were trying to impose a blockade on small countries. Embark on a sovereign path of their own.

He said the opposition’s “violent or hateful excesses” against the democratically elected government were met with silence by international organizations, simply because the opposition’s views were in line with Western policy on Ukraine.

He added that this was the atmosphere in which the assassination attempt took place.

“I should be full of anger, hatred and revenge,” Mr. Fico said.

“[But] “I would like to express my belief that all the pain I have been through and continue to go through will be of benefit.”